Falling Slowly by Lila BruceFalling Slowly by Lila Bruce is an enemies to lovers romance set in a small town.

Captain Quinn Briscoe is trying to rebuild her life after a medical discharge from the army. She has built a wall around her heart and keeps the world at a distance. The first time she meets the beautiful Alison Jenkins, Quinn feels an instant aversion to her and she lets Allie know exactly why. Their first meeting is a disaster, yet there is an undeniable attraction between the two women simmering just below the surface.

Quinn decides to try and get along with Allie for her sister, Rebekah’s sake. Rebekah has just gone into business with Allie and it’s Rebekah’s first big break. As a favor, Quinn offers to fly Allie to a family gathering for the day. What’s supposed to be a one-day trip, turns into a long weekend due circumstances beyond Quinn’s control. The more time Quinn and Allie spend together the harder it is for either of them to deny the feelings that are growing between them.

Can two women who seem so at odds put their pasts aside to build a relationship that is worth fighting for?

The Characters

Both Quinn and Allie are smart women who have no problem saying exactly what is on their minds. When these women go at it they take no prisoners and their heated words show the passion that they could bring to a relationship.

Quinn has a bit of a chip on her shoulder as the result of her girlfriend dumping her when she returned from Afghanistan. Quinn was wounded in battle leaving her face scarred and one of her legs badly disfigured. She thinks the only thing people see are her scars, so she is quick to push people away, especially attractive women. She would rather be alone than left with a broken heart. She is a tough nut to crack and I had my doubts about her willingness to drop her tough façade.

Allie has been so busy growing her own business that she hasn’t had a date in what seems like forever. After her initial interactions with Quinn, Allie sees a different side of her and she realizes Quinn isn’t just rude and boorish. It was nice to see a confident business woman caught off guard by a woman she wouldn’t normally notice. Allie has a sassy side which is just adorable and when you combine that with a power suit, well, be still my heart! The question for me was whether Allie was going to put in the effort to see past Quinn’s hard veneer or not.

The Writing Style

We get to see the story unfold from both Quinn and Allie’s points of view which I liked because I was privy to each of their takes on each other. This was especially fun since they started off on the wrong foot. It was also nice to experience their sense of confusion as their feelings for each other began to change.

Bruce seamlessly moves between the present day of the story and the events that happened to Quinn while she was deployed in Afghanistan. She uses Quinn’s nightmares to reveal how she was injured and I found this much more interesting than hearing the whole thing recounted by a character.

The Pros

The dialogue in Falling Slowly is sharp and witty. That’s always a huge draw for me. Quinn and Allie each have their own distinct voices and that is just one device that makes their growing attraction for each other feel authentic.

The Cons

If anything, I would have liked to see more of their courtship before the final chapter. I liked these women and the ending felt just a tad rushed.

The Conclusion

I always enjoy a good enemies to lovers romance because I always know I’m going to get a yummy dose of heated exchanges at the beginning and then a slow burn while the main characters get their acts together. Falling Slowly did not disappoint. This was an easy read because everything fell into place quite nicely. The event that threw the main characters together was unique and for my quirky sense of humor it was funny as well. This is not my first novel by Lila Bruce and I’m finding that I can count on her for a romance that will leave me feeling content.

Excerpt from Falling Slowly by Lila Bruce

Allie swallowed before answering. “Yes. I know what happened the other morning at the store…well, happened. And I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. Then or just now. It was certainly not my intention.”

“Really?” Quinn crossed her arms and leaned back against the sink.

“Yes, really. I’m not normally that kind of person, so I don’t want you to have the wrong impression.”

“And what impression would that be?” Quinn asked with more than a hint of hostility in her voice.

“That I—”

“That you’re a rude ass?” Quinn interrupted.

“What?” Allie felt a heat rise up in the back of her neck. I know she did not just say that.

“You heard me. I’ve had more than…” Her voiced trailed away for a moment and then she breathed loudly. “…I’ve had it up to here with your kind, thank you very much. But you know, I don’t even really care about that anymore. I’m just going to say one thing.” Quinn took a step towards Allie. “My younger sister is happier than I’ve seen her in a long time. If you or your partner do anything to hurt her or try to take advantage of her in any way, then you’ll have me to answer to.”

Oh, hell no.

“Take advantage of her?” Allie asked, feeling her temper flare higher.

“You heard me.”

“Well, you hear this. Don’t ever accuse me—or my partner—of…what? Trying to cheat your sister out of something?”

“Exactly what I’m saying.”

Allie felt her cheeks flush as the smoldering feeling of fury washed over her. She had worked too hard and made too many sacrifices over the past several years to not just make Mimi’s a successful chain of stores, but one that had a reputation for treating both customers and designers fairly. To have this…this…woman stand here now and accuse her of being dishonest was outrageous.

“You rude ass bitch.” As soon as the words left Quinn’s lips, Allie’s world took on a red tint.

“Oh, hell no. You can listen to me for a goddamn minute,” Allie all but shouted, pointing a finger as she took her own step forward. “I might be a rude ass bitch for looking—no, you’re right—staring at you. But you know what? Oh fucking well. Yeah, I was so shocked when I looked up in my own goddamn store and saw such a giant ugly ass scar on such a drop dead gorgeous woman that all I could do was stare.”

“What did you just say?”

“You fucking heard me. But you know what? Get over it. I’m sorry that you got hit by a bomb or a MRE or whatever the fuck happened, but don’t stand there and accuse me or my cousin of anything because you’ve got some kind of a giant chip on your shoulder. You can go fuck yourself.”

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Bits and Bobs

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About the author

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Victoria is a native of Southern California where she lives with her fantastic family. Victoria traded in a career in the television and film industry to become a speech therapist to work with special needs kiddos like her younger daughter. Her passions include film history, Cate Blanchett, neckties, dismantling the patriarchy, and Cate Blanchett. She doesn’t eat mushrooms because they are gross and She prefers dark over milk chocolate. Victoria never leaves the house without her Kindle and she will work for books.